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Counterfeit Faith ( Hidden Hearts of the…

Counterfeit Faith ( Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age) (edition 2023)

by Crystal Caudill (Author)

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Title:Counterfeit Faith ( Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age)
Authors:Crystal Caudill (Author)
Info:Kregel Publications (2023), 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Counterfeit Faith ( Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age) by Crystal Caudill

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I found myself captivated by this story from the first chapter and I had a hard time putting the novel down! Beautifully told, the story flows well and is intriguing and mysterious. I had a hard time guessing the outcome with all the exciting twists and turns. I very much enjoyed the blooming relationship between Gwendolyn and Josiah and thought their matched wits to be amusing to read. I also liked the history woven among the pages and thought the author did a great job describing the setting and scenes. The spiritual themes of doubt and trusting God were well integrated and added depth to the novel. This book stands well on its own; however, the series is a delight to read. I really enjoyed this book and indeed this entire series and am a little sad to see it come to an end. Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. ( )
  lifeofliterature | May 30, 2023 |
I loved this story filled with history, suspense, romance and faith. I loved Gwendolyn and Josiah. I love stories with secret service agents from the late 1800s. I love how well written this story is. I could not put this book down. I loved learning a little about how this orphanage was run. I also loved learning a little bit about counterfeiting during this time period. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | May 30, 2023 |
Absolutely loved this third book in the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series! Crystal Caudill weaves a faith-filled, action-packed, swoon worthy second chance romance with a compelling mystery that kept me hurriedly turning those pages. I loved Josiah Isaacs in previous books and couldn’t wait for this perceived rogue’s story. It’s everything I hoped for and more.

Gwendolyn Ellison is the caring matron for the Final Chance House of Refuge who’s valiantly dedicated to the children placed there. When she suspects someone is using the refuge for an underhanded purpose, she tries to investigate. Unfortunately, the criminals involved have a great scheme going and threaten to kill anyone who gets in their way. Will she put her trust in God and the handsome Secret Service agent she can’t get out of her heart? Or, will she let past disappointments ruin her chance for happiness?

Josiah is a Secret Service agent trying to root out a “green goods game” involving counterfeit money. When he saves a lovely woman in distress, he can’t resist wanting to help her. Though he wants to remain faithful to his dead wife’s memory, he’s drawn to Gwendolyn. As he tries to protect her and the children she cares for, he must grapple with his own faith and loss. Is he willing to risk love again even if he might lose the woman he’s come to care for?

I loved Josiah and Gwen! Josiah’s good looks and charming personality have often gotten him into trouble, especially when his desire to rescue damsels in distress has resulted in nine failed proposals. I loved watching him fall in love with Gwendolyn. Gwen is beautiful, strong, and fearless. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the children she loves. I throughly enjoyed the back and forth banter between Gwen & Josiah. His roguish impetuous ways are so endearing. I loved how Gwen made him wait to make sure his feelings were real. Both characters struggle with faith and trusting in God. I loved the repeated message of “help thou my unbelief.”

Loved the mystery and suspense! The villains are particularly nasty. There were times I was on the edge of my seat as Gwen constantly puts herself in dangerous situations while trying to get evidence. One of my favorite scenes was when she was forced to hurriedly hide under the bed.

The author always weaves a fascinating bit of history in with each of her stories. I enjoyed learning more about the Houses of Refuge, the “green goods game” scheme, and the Secret Service.

Highly recommend this well written, suspense-filled, inspirational romance! While it’s the third book in the series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the author and publisher. All opinions are completely my own and left voluntarily. ( )
  Melissas-Bookshelf | May 29, 2023 |
I’ve enjoyed reading this series by talented author Crystal Caudill. Set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the Gilded Age, this tale features Gwendolyn Ellison as the matron of Final Chance House of Refuge for children deemed as juvenile delinquents. The aim was to reform the children and try to improve their chances of a productive life. When she suspects criminal activities occurring at Final Chance, she encounters Josiah Isaacs, who is a Secret Service operative involved in apprehending counterfeiters. As they work together to solve the mystery of who is involved in the crimes, their relationship grows.

With plenty of suspense, action, mystery, a dash of romance, and a heaping dose of faith, this story has something for everyone. If you enjoy historical romance with a strong faith thread, I would recommend this book and series. I enjoyed learning more about the Secret Service and how it evolved through the years. The historical notes in the back of the book were very interesting and informative and added to the tale. 4.5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications. All opinions are my own. ( )
  swissgranny | May 26, 2023 |
This is the first book I've read by Crystal Caudill and it was an exciting adventure through streets of Philadelphia in 1885. I learned quite a bit about the Secret Service during the mid 1880s and about Houses of Refuge for delinquent and neglected minors in this city. The intrigue and suspense in the plot were engaging and definitely kept me on my toes trying to figure out the nefarious connection among the minor characters. The strong faith thread of forgiveness, reconciliation, working through doubt, and waiting for God's timing infused the heart of the story. If you enjoy historical romantic suspense, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Gwendolyn was a strong heroine - a bit too stubborn for me to completely empathize with but nonetheless passionate, compassionate, and wholly dedicated to the children she guards. Josiah was a fun, protective, loyal, tender-hearted champion for the underdogs and easy to like. I didn't quite understand his Kryptonite of reluctantly proposing to damsels in distress and having to break those proposals but his hurting widowed heart was genuine. The green goods game that played a major role in the plot was a little confusing at first but it tied in nicely at the end. I appreciated the historical notes at the end of the book summarizing the facts that contributed to the plotline.

I received the book from Kregel Publications via JustRead Publicity Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own. ( )
  SBMC | May 18, 2023 |
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